World Cup 2000, Chamonix
The start of the sport climbing World Cup is always long-awaited. Today it finally gets underway in Chamonix, France and will finish, after a total of 5 events, in Kranj this November.
The rules are simple: at the end of the circuit the overall title goes to the athlete with the most points. A victory is worth 100, second place 80, third place 65 and so on down to 1 point awarded for 30th place.
PlanetMountain has hazarded a list of probable candidates for the World Cup 2000 title
This year many athletes are in with a chance, especially since last year's World Cup winner FranÃ§ois Petit is still injured after his accident at the Millau Bouldering Competition. Five-times winner FranÃ§ois Legrand won't find it easy to make it six, but his undeniable class and competition experience will ensure he stays up top. Japan's Yuji Hirayama is another force to be reckoned with: his technique, vast experience and inner calm (a much needed virtue in these tense competitions) count strongly in his favour.
The Germans Christian and Andreas Bindhammer had a storming start last year and will once again want to confirm their competition form. Incredibly strong, though slightly lacking in technique, they too will be ones to watch out for.
Many people expect (and some fear) an explosive performance by the athletes from the east: the Russian Evgueni Ovtchinnikov and the Ukrainians Evgeni Krivocheicev and Maxim Petrenko have proved themselves to be fearsome competitiors, unable however to consistently rank high throughout the circuit.
The women's field will probably be dominated by Liv Sansoz, Muriel Sarkany, Martina Cufar and StÃ©phanie Bodet.
And the Italians?
The Italian Squad
The Italian squad has probably never been this strong before. The women's team is composed of Jenny Lavarda, who makes her World Cup debut this year, and the vastly experienced Luisa Iovane. The men's team is made up of the current World Champion Dino Lagni, the current Junior World Champion Flavio Crespi, Cristian Brenna and Luca Giupponi.
This year should prove interesting